The Wind Energy Ordinance that had been approved by the Palo Alto County Planning and Zoning Board was the main focus at the regular meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Supervisor Chairman began the meeting by thanking the many entities that were involved for over six months in developing a county ordinance on wind energy, mostly unpaid, for the time that was spent. He pointed out that since the Zoning Board had submitted this ordinance to the Supervisors for consideration on August 11, all five members of the Board had spent a lot of time talking with other counties and states, as well as farmers within wind farms, and amongst themselves, trying to get an idea of setbacks in other locations and what Palo Alto County would require for setbacks from residential locations.
Supervisor Keith Wirtz continued with an overview of what has occurred since talks regarding a Wind Energy Ordinance for Palo Alto County began back in December 2015 to the present.
Wirtz made the following motion, “The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors intends to tentatively adopt the proposed ordinance with setback distances of 1,500 feet from existing permanent residential locations.”
This motion was seconded by Supervisor Ed Noonan and received unanimous approval by the Board.
At this time, a tentative schedule for the readings for the Palo Alto County Wind Energy Conversion System Ordinance as follows:
First Reading Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.
Second Reading Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.
Third Reading Sept. 27 at 10 a.m.
In other business, the Board met with Jim Fisher, Draftsman from Marshall, MN. and Rick Elbert, Construction Owner from Emmetsburg at the Brink Building to discuss plans for the interior remodeling after being damaged by a fire in April.
According to tentative plans, the County Attorney’s Office will be on the left side of the building with the Joe Neary, County Sanitarian and Zoning Officer at the very front on the same side. The right side of the building will hold public restrooms, the County Engineers Office, with a public meeting room in the back. Concerns were voiced by Palo Alto county Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth regarding office space and storage space.
“Currently, the Engineer’s Office has roughly 3,200 square feet of space and by looking at the plans we will lose about half of what we have,” Davis-Oeth said. “The amount of items we have stored in our office needs to be taken into account.”
With some further discussion, it was decided that the Engineer and the County Attorney would get together with Fisher and Elbert to figure out how to best utilize the building space to accommodate what each needs. It was also mentioned that the basement will be cemented and could be used for storage also.
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